Discussion Leader

1. Richis, the dad, thinks long and hard over the deaths that have occurred in Grasse. He decided that the murderer is a “careful collector” rather than a “destructive personality”. He thinks that the murderer is looking for young beautiful perfection which is exactly what Grenouille is doing. (But Grenouille is obviously doing it for odor reasons) Do you think Grenouille is a “careful collector” or a “destructive personality”?

2. Why do you think Grenouille feels absolutely no remorse or guilt for killing Laure now? He debated it before because he didn’t want to lose her scent forever, but now he has no problem killing her. On page 218 he even says that he is content and happy just waiting six hours for her scent to soak up. What made make up his mind?

3. Why do you think Grenouille chose the way to die that he did. He knew that putting that much of his perfume on was going to kill him, but do you think he knew they would eat him? I feel like that was a too personal way for him to die because he was such a lonesome person. What do you think?

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Passage Person

In this final section everything pretty much just goes crazy. As if the hanging turned orgy, the father begging for his daughter’s murderer to be his son, the apparent mass amnesia in the town by far the part that truly shocked me was Grenouille’s demise. Grenouille bathed himself in his ultimate perfume, of which it only took one drop to send the whole city ready to hang him into a frenzy, a group of about 20 or 30 people, that were indeed all murders, killed and ate him. 

“The angel was decided into thirty pieces, and every animal in the pack snatched a piece for itself, and then driven by voluptuous lust, dropped back to devour it.” 

“All of a sudden there were delightful, bright flutterings in their dark souls. And on their faces was a delicate, virginal glow of happiness.”

“For the first time they had done something out of love.”

Do you think that Grenouille giving others this virginal glow brings the story almost full circle? Why do you think that Grenouille is referred to as an angel? Is it just because of the amount of perfume, or a broader reference? How do you think that love is represented throughout this novel? I think that it debases societies notion of love to a biological response, between all types of relationships: parent to child, friend to friend, lust, and even self in the final chapter. 

Connections

I found an article that I found very interesting that basically said that scent can influence a person to do things they would not normally do, such as buy a certain product or return to certain hotels or resort due to the ambient-like smells they incorporate to the environment (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smell-life/201101/smell-manipulation). I thought that that was interesting considering that Grenuoille’s scent basically was the ultimate persuader. I find is easy to imagine that the influence his perfume had on people was highly fictional, but it is weird to know that scent is actually a huge manipulator, and many people don’t even know it. What do you guys think?

-Riley